Everyone Communicates, Few Connect - Book Review

John Maxwell is a nationally known leader of leaders. A former pastor, his books, seminars, teaching and other media have served as resources for scores of leaders throughout the past many years. I'm certainly an example of a leader who has benefited from Maxwell's ministry.

Maxwell's newest book, "Everyone Communicates, Few Connect" is an attempt to help others master the art of going to the heart of effective communication. The point of the book, as should be obvious from the title, is that all of us communicate hundreds of messages to different people throughout our day. But few people have truly mastered the art of connecting with other people. As a result, the message is misunderstood, misapplied, or even worse, un-applied.

As is true with most of Maxwell's books, "Everyone Communicates, Few Connect" is easy to read. Maxwell is a voracious collector of quotes and anecdotes. With a story, quote, joke, or illustration on every page, this book is simple to work through; hard to apply.

You will find little to dispute in this book. Maxwell lays out several principles and several practices of effective connectors that are irrefutable (I don't know why the publisher didn't go back to the "irrefutable" well that provided the title for Maxwell's other books; this one is a natural fit in that mold). Maxwell's advice for communicators will be helpful, no matter what you are trying to communicate or with whom you want to connect. This is really good material.

In the interest of full-disclosure, the one thing that irks me about this book is the same thing that bothers me about several of Maxwell's books: Maxwell is not lacking in confidence. I know, I know, "it ain't bragging if you done it," and John Maxwell has done it. But, I find that Maxwell is the hero of most of his personal anecdotes and the model for most of his ideas. Whenever another great leader is quoted or referenced, Mr. Maxwell makes sure the reader knows that the leader is "his friend," or that the quote took place in a private conversation at Maxwell's home. I hesitate to even mention that challenge because I don't know Mr. Maxwell and am sure he is a fine man, but the truth is: it provided a barrier that made it hard for me to "connect" with this book on connecting.

As a person currently serving in a leadership position, I have a high value on books that will strengthen my skills without wasting my time. If you're interested in reading a good book about connecting with a spouse or an audience, "Everyone Communicates, Few Connect" contains principles that will make you much more effective without wasting your time. It's worth picking up.

(FYI - I received this book free from Thomas Nelson Publishers in exchange for my review. In compliance with the regulations of the ever-present Federal Trade Commission (16 CFR, Part 255), it is important for you to know that I was not required to write anything other than an honest review)